Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Futurama - "Decision 3012"

Season 7, Episode 3

“Wow, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for.”

Last week, I note my distaste for Futurama episodes that transplants topical tumor from our time to the show’s fictional future, and ended with some skepticism about how tonight’s episode would play out. That was based of the one clip that Comedy Central was using to promo the episode, which made it appear that “Decision 3012” was going to tackle the 99%/1% divide. It turns out that the episode would be based on another singular topical issue, but that wasn’t even the episode’s main problem.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Falling Skies - "Compass"

Season 2, Episode 3

I love possibilities. Give me a show with a strong start, and I will follow it for a long time, long past the point where I should have given up on it. (I’m looking at you, Smash.) Simply knowing that a show could be good, seeing that it has the basic elements to make a quality program, is enough to entrance me, if only for a short time. That’s what got me interested in Falling Skies in the first place, and what made me like the apparent retooling of last week’s premiere. However, it now appears that the path won’t be as smooth as it first appeared, and that the show has some more growing pains to get through.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wilfred - "Progress"

Season 2, Episode 1

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
                                                                        - Thomas Edison

For reasons unknown, FX decided to release tonight’s season premiere of Wilfred, an episode that deals with the fallout to last season’s excellent finale, a week early on the internet, and label it has a “special preview episode”, which would imply that it would be much less serialized than it actually is. And even though they went through the motions of making sure it aired, they also did it with very little promotion, airing it a week before the much higher-profiled Louie is set to premiere, and even placing it in a slightly later timeslot. It would seem as if FX is trying to kill the show, and given how tonight’s premiere seems to have shifted it from a stoner comedy to something much weirder – but much better – I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.

Futurama - "The Bots and the Bees"/"A Farewell to Arms"

Season 7, Episodes 1-2

Once again, Comedy Central decided to go with an hour-long premiere for the latest summer run of Futurama. While it was something that made sense two years ago when the first half of season six premiered – it had been a few years since their had been new Futurama material, and those first two episodes were at least tangentially related – it didn’t makes sense last year, and it certainly didn’t makes sense this year either. In fact, the contrast of tonight’s two episodes only helped to highlight the ways that Futurama can deploy pathos, and how it can succeed and fail.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Falling Skies - "Worlds Apart"/"Shall We Gather at the River"

Season 2, Episodes 1-2

“Our history has yet to be written.”

When Falling Skies premiered last summer, it came with an almost-guarantee that a second season would follow. This allowed the show to sort of dick around with it’s plot – remember how long everybody stayed at that fucking school? – and also gave it permission to have a cliffhanger ending. While something like Tom boarding the alien ship would have been a bold, we-dare-you-to-cancel-us move from shows without a guaranteed renewal, in Falling Skies’ case…okay, it wasn’t all that much better. Just because the show could afford a cliffhanger doesn’t mean it necessarily knew where it was going. Even if the writers did (and that’s a pretty big “if”), that still leaves the season two premiere with the unenviable task of playing off that cliffhanger in a meaningful way, and hopefully reorienting the show along with it.

Summer 2012 Review Schedule

After a much needed month or so off (grad school really burned me out this semester), I’m ready to get back into the TV criticism game. So here it is, my review schedule for Summer 2012.

Falling Skies – June 17th
Breaking Bad – July 15th

Futurama – June 20th

Wilfred – June 21st
Louie – June 28th

I’m going to be taking things a little lighter this summer, as I’ll also be juggling an internship and research for my thesis. So we’ll see how this goes, and I might add/drop shows based on time and interest. But also be on the lookout for returning entries in The Failed Pilot Project, as well as possibly a new feature or two.